Summerville rallied from two goals down Thursday night, Senior Night, to salvage a 2-2 tie with Mother Lode League-leading Calaveras at Thorsted Field.
Summerville goalie Larissa Barrett (above, right) makes a save with Calaveras star Tiffany Souza (3) hoping for a rebound on Thursday at Thorsted Field. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat
Bear senior Nicole Schultz converted a penalty kick after Darian Skellenger was fouled with three minutes left in the game.
“She nailed that penalty kick but we got a few shots in the last couple of minutes but couldn’t get it in the net,” said Redskins head coach Rob Leetham. “Summerville played a really good game. They were celebrating Senior Night and they were motivated and seemed pretty excited.”
“We played fantastic — I’m so happy with the way the girls played tonight,” said Bears head coach Brad Schultz. “It was a complete team effort, everybody played their best and it showed. Calaveras is a very good team. They play with fantastic intensity and we were able to match that with intensity of our own.”
Calaveras applied pressure throughout the first half and scored 19 minutes into the game on a goal by Kim Carlson off a pass from Jordyn Leetham.
The Redskins tallied again in the 38th minute when Cassy Deitle blasted a free kick off a set piece from approximately 25 yards and placed it perfectly into the top left-hand corner of the net.
“Just a beautiful kick,” Leetham said.
At 2-0, it was the Bears turn and they answered one minute later.
Mali PetersonWood received a pass from Skellenger, split two defenders and blasted the ball into the net.
“It was a play that we’ve been working on in practice and the girls executed it perfectly,” Schultz said. “It’s one thing to do it in practice but another to execute during the game. It was beautiful.”
With the draw, and Amador’s 2-1 victory over Linden, the Redskins are tied with the Buffaloes atop the MLL (9-1-3, 30 points). Amador holds the edge on goal differential so the Redskins, with two to play, are looking up at the Buffs in the standings.
“We’re thrilled to have already clinched a playoff berth, but we wanna win league,” said Leetham. “Our goal is to win league.”
While Amador and Calaveras battle for the title, the fight for third place, the final playoff berth, is up for grabs.
The Bears have earned four points in the last two games (1-0-1), both at home, and have come on strong.
For the Summerville seniors, Thursday was their final game at Thorsted Field.
“Camila Richardson played outstanding at sweeper and is doing a very good job of running our defense,” Schultz said in regards to his seniors. “Katelyn Stewart was terrific in the midfield tonight — she owned it. Calaveras does a very good job of moving the ball around and she was in the right place at the right time to disrupt their passes.
“Shylynn Pollard, our outside right defender, had the best game I’ve ever seen her play. Larissa Barrett in goal made some huge, key saves for us. On one shot, the ball looked like it was going into the upper corner of the net. I have no idea how she knocked it out but she did.
“And our exchange student from Germany, Franzi Hadan, has been hanging in there all season working hard. She’s been a great team player even with little playing time.”
Summerville is tied with Bret Harte (11 points) for fourth place, four points behind Argonaut who defeated the Bullfrogs Thursday. The top three qualify for postseason.
The Redskins next host Argonaut on Tuesday while the Bears go to Amador for a second-straight clash with the league’s top team. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. for both games.
“We get the top two teams in the league back-to-back,” Schultz said. “It’ll be tough for us but if we can come out and play like we did tonight, it will be a good game.”